For My Sunday Song #303, we are talking about the song “No Surprize” off the Aerosmith’s 1979 album ‘Night in the Ruts’. It wasn’t the band’s most successful album as the drugs had really taken hold of them by this time. It was amazing an album was even made. The album went to #14 on the Billboard Album Charts, but didn’t stay for long. It was panned by the critics and fans alike. But it isn’t half bad (it ain’t half good either). One of the best songs is “No Surprize” yet it was never released as a single so now we will give it its dues.
The opening track of the album was “No Surprize” which took a long while to write. Joe and Steven had been working on a song together and Steven was having trouble with the lyrics. After two months of blockage, Steven finally got his second wind and wrote a great song that tells the story of the band. It covers from the humble beginnings in 1971, the struggles of making it, the drug problems and the wondering where their royalties were. I can tell you, they went in to the drugs!! Lots and Lots and Lots of Drugs!! There is a cool line in it with “Vaccinate your ass with a phonograph needle” and I wonder now if that would work to battle Covid. Probably not.
The song is a mix of blues and old time rock & roll with a Chuck Berry vibe on guitar coming from Perry. It is rough and raw and Tyler’s vocals a real grit to them like he had lived a tough life and currently he was doing just that. Hamilton and Kramer were the heart of the song laying down a great rhythm and keeping the song driving forward while Joe and Brad laid down some cool riffs. It is a down and dirty rock song, just the way I like it.
Aerosmith…one of the greatest American Rock & Roll Bands. From the early 70’s the band has delivered, solid, good time, bluesy rock & roll. With 15 Studio albums, numerous live albums and compilations, they are a beloved American Icon. From the rough and raw days of the early Boston Bar band to the well-polished Stadium filled rock & roll band, they are as American apple pie.
Now the band has had issues, but for a majority of the career it has been Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. Yes, some members went away for awhile, but the magic was always these five original guys. Alone, they are not the same…together they are magic. To celebrate this band, I went through all the albums in my collection (which was around 28 posts) and now we are going to rank their studio albums from Worst to First. So sit back, relax and get ready to be rocked like only Aerosmith can do it.
THE WORST – ‘MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION (2012):
This album is so bloated with 16 tracks and at around 68 minutes and that is before the 3 bonus tracks on the 2nd disc which we will get to soon. First off, yes, the packaging is better than the album. The album does nothing for me but reinforce how tired I am of anything of Aerosmith’s past ‘Done With Mirrors’. This series has reenforced that for me…big time. Although I could pull out ‘Honkin’ on Bobo’. The album is too much of everything and not enough of Aerosmith if that makes sense. If this ends up being the last studio album, it is a shame. My Overall Score is 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars. I didn’t enjoy this one and it didn’t get better with each listen. Sorry.
Drugs…wives…tension. Those three things were all starting to boil over with Aerosmith during the recording of the band’s sixth studio album, ‘Night in the Ruts’. What is a night in the ruts anyway? Actually, it is a play on words for “Right in the Nuts”. Pretty funny actually. But wasn’t funny was the drug use was immense at this point. The band could barely function. Steven wasn’t writing lyrics, Joe owed the band money for his room service bills and he hadn’t been in the studio for months, longtime producer Jack Douglas was fired and Gary Lyons was brought in to produce, and the album was taking forever to finish. The band’s relationship with their label was strained as well. At this point, the band was completely and utterly out of control.
The album was taking so long, the band was forced to go out on the road and that was not a good place for them to be. More drugs meant horrible shows. Horrible shows meant more tension. More tension bled over in to the wives starting to fight and things got really ugly in Cleveland, OH on July 28, 1979 when Joe Perry’s wife through milk at Tom Hamilton’s wife. The band I believe already hated Joe’s wife so after the show, Steven and Joe got in to a nasty altercation and by the end, Joe Perry was no longer in the band. He was done and he was out!
Well, that didn’t bode well as the album wasn’t even finished. The band brought in Richie Supa to help on the guitars as well as Jimmy Crespo to finish others. Jimmy was the one that stayed and toured with the band until 1984. The album finally was finished and released on November 16th, 1979. It didn’t do well at all. It did got to #14 on the Billboard Charts but barely went gold. They had one single, “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” which didn’t even break the Top 40 landing at #67.